Orange County Branch Newsletter

July 2022


WRYMC 2022 at Park City, Utah

By Tyler Hodges, EIT | PE/FE Review Co-Chair

Creating connections, rekindling out-of-touch relations, and putting a face to the network we worked so hard on creating in the last few “virtual” years, ASCE Younger Members throughout the Western Region came together in Park City, Utah, from July 8th to July 10th to attend the Western Regional Younger Member Council 2022 Conference. ASCE Utah Younger Members welcomed over 120 members, 15 of which represented Orange County, to join and participate in a combination of Younger Member Leadership Symposium (YMLS) and YMLS Alumni Summit workshops.

As a first-time attendee of a WRYMC and YMLS event, I did not know what to expect. To say the least, my expectations were blown out of the water. I had the opportunity to attend workshops led by my peers, engage in round table discussions, and attend one of the two technical tours. In addition to the workshops, Orange County YMF brought home awards for Outstanding Support of a Student Chapter and Outstanding Member in ASCE Activities, won by the University Outreach Committee (Janelle Gonzalez) and Elizabeth Ruedas, respectively.


Individuals from Orange County such as Jazzy Principe, Chuck Karunathilake, Elizabeth Ruedas, and Nestor Godinez prepared and presented on Strategic Networking, Effective Planned and Impromptu Presentation Skills, Intentionally Inspiring Innovation, and the WRYMC Business Meeting. Individuals outside of Orange County (Elyssa Dixon, Kelly Keselica, Teresa Kaimrajh, Jaffer Almosawy, Isamar Escobar, Vanessa Eslava, Kailene Gini, Dennis Wilson, Katie Klose, Felipe Vazquez, Matthew Jacobson, and more) spoke and led workshops including but not limited to Personal Vision, Engineering Your Time, Communication Styles, and Understanding Emotional Intelligence.

Creating a space where people feel included, valued, and welcomed is not always a simple task. To do so with over 100 people is exponentially more difficult. I applaud each presenter and every volunteer who stood up, got out of their comfort zone, grabbed the microphone, and shared. Younger members engaged in the discussion to really hit the point of “what are we learning and why are we here”? Key takeaways can be summarized as personal and professional growth. Additionally, I’d like to share one of the many topics that resonated with me during a roundtable discussion, and that is vulnerability. Most people view vulnerability as a weakness that can be exploited due to opening up. As young professionals, we are learning and growing. We were taught to know the answers to everything in school, but the reality is that’s not always true. There are times to be vulnerable and ask for help with things you don’t understand. Most growth comes from making mistakes and learning from them. We grow and advocate lifelong learning so that one day the next generation of future young professionals can learn from us to create a better community.

As we recap the WRYMC 2022 event, we look to the future 2023 WRYMC event hosted by Orange County. Eyes are set on the sunny Southern California skies as the Western Region will venture to the OC, some for the first time and some as returners from the previous 2021 WRYMC. Days are quickly being crossed off the calendar as the OC WRMYC planning committee has picked up from where they left off prior to hosting a virtual WRYMC in January 2020. We are all looking forward to WRYMC 2023, and we hope to see you there!

About the Author:

Tyler Hodges, E.I.T., is a Design Engineer with Mark Thomas. He currently serves as a PE/FE Review Co-Chair and will soon serve as the President-Elect for ASCE Orange County Younger Member Forum. Tyler can be contacted via email at or LinkedIn.


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